December 20, 2013
December 20, 2013
House Speaker and Ohio Republican John Boehner has called for a one year delay in the individual mandate under the Obamacare bill. Boehner made the suggestion on Friday following the Obama administration’s announcement it would exempt people who had their policies canceled under the law.
“With this latest delay, the Obama administration is once again admitting that the president’s health care law is unworkable and unaffordable,” Boehner said in a statement. “Millions have lost the plans they liked, only to find themselves priced out of new policies with higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs.”
“The administration’s action does nothing to address the problems at the center of the president’s health care law, or to help the families suffering its consequences. All Americans deserve a hardship exemption from this train wreck of a law, and a focus on patient-centered reforms that will help lower costs and protect jobs.”
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor also called for a suspension.
“Our entire health care system can’t be fundamentally changed at any given time subject to the random impulses of President Obama,” Canton declared in an earlier statement. “How can anyone make health care decisions today knowing that the law may be unilaterally changed again tomorrow? Republicans have consistently asked for a one year delay of the mandates for all Americans, and put forward a proposal to allow American families to keep their health plans. The White House actions clearly prove ObamaCare can’t work as designed. It’s time for ObamaCare to be delayed for all.”
In August, Boehner warned Republicans to not shut down the government in an effort to stop the implementation of Obamacare.
Earlier this month the Speaker criticized the tea party faction in the House for shutting down the government. He predicted the effort may result in Democrats regaining control of the House of Representatives.
CBS: Top ObamaCare official wanted site shut down over security risks — and was overruled
POSTED AT 9:41 AM ON DECEMBER 20, 2013 BY ED MORRISSEY
It’s not as if HHS wasn’t aware of concerns over security for the ObamaCare exchange they launched. Dozens of Attorneys General issued public warnings over the summer about the lack of security in a system that would contain the most private identity information of any web portal ever. Their own Inspector General blasted the contractors working on the site in June for their performance on security.
Still, HHS rolled out the site even with those gaps unaddressed, putting millions of Americans at risk for identity theft — but the news gets worse. CBS News’ Sharyl Attkisson reports this morning that a top official in the ObamaCare exchange told Congress on Tuesday that HHS discovered two more big security issues that no one detected before the rollout:
A top HealthCare.gov security officer told Congress there have been two, serious high-risk findings since the website’s launch, including one on Monday of this week, CBS News has learned.Teresa Fryer, the chief information security officer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), revealed the findings when she was interviewed Tuesday behind closed doors by House Oversight Committee officials. The security risks were not previously disclosed to members of Congress or the public. Obama administration officials have firmly insisted there’s no reason for any concern regarding the website’s security. …Details are not being made public for security reasons but Fryer testified that one vulnerability in the system was discovered during testing last week related to an incident reported in November. She says that as a result, the government has shut down functionality in the vulnerable part of the system. Fryer said the other high-risk finding was discovered Monday.
Fryer then told Congress that she recommended the site be shut down to address the security gaps — and was overruled:
“My recommendation was a denial of ATO [Authority to Operate -- allowing the website to go live],” Fryer told Democrats and Republicans who sat in on the day-long interview. According to Fryer, she first recommended denying the ATO to CMS chief information officer Tony Trenkle based on the many outstanding security concerns after pre-launch testing.“I had discussions with him on this and told him that my evaluation of this was a high risk,” Fryer told the committee. Trenkle retired from his CMS job on Nov. 13. He has not responded to CBS News interview requests.
That must have been news to Congress. As Attkisson recounts, Kathleen Sebelius testified before Congress on October 30th that “no senior official reporting to me ever advised me that we should delay.” While Sebelius may be able to claim that Fryer didn’t report to her and that her statement was technically accurate, Congress may want to know why Sebelius went forward with the launch without Fryer’s signature on the letter recommending the ATO. Fryer also told Congress that she personally briefed Sebelius’ advisers on her recommendation to withhold the ATO on September 20th, six weeks before her testimony to Congress.
Once again, we have the spectacle of another high-ranking Obama administration official misrespresenting — at best — the operations of agencies to Congress in areas of legitimate oversight. The question is beginning to change from who’s being dishonest to whether anyone on Barack Obama’s team has ever been honest in testimony to Congress. I’d expect House Oversight chair Darrell Issa to start issuing subpoenas to everyone briefed by Fryer, so that the question of obstruction of Congress by Kathleen Sebelius can be answered. (Those names include the already-discredited Henry Chao, by the way.) It’s clear that the dishonesty of this administration extends far and wide.
Update (Allahpundit): Fryer’s not the only techie at CMS whose signature was mysteriously missing from the Authority to Operate. Remember Tony Trenkle? He was the project manager who left the agency in November — an unusual move given the all-hands-on-deck attitude to fixing Healthcare.gov at the time. Trenkle also didn’t sign the ATO. Ispeculated at the time that he refused for the same reasons that Fryer did, namely, that no tech specialist with a conscience would greenlight a site this vulnerable, but the official explanation was that CMS chief Marilyn Tavenner wanted to sign the ATO herself because this project was super-important and should be formally endorsed by the head of the agencyor whatever. Sure looks like Tavenner was fully aware of how dangerous Healthcare.gov could be to users who entered their private information but insisted that the site be launched anyway, over the objections of her own team. It’s subpoena time.
Slapstick calamity continues: People who lost insurance because of Obamacare given mandate exemption
**Written by Doug Powers
This is probably comes as a real relief to those who lost their policies and have already been forced to buy (or try to buy) more expensive policies through an Obamacare exchange:
The Obama administration Thursday night significantly relaxed the rules of the health-care law for millions of consumers whose individual insurance policies have been canceled, saying they could buy bare-bones health plans or entirely avoid the requirement that most Americans have health insurance.The surprise announcement, four days before the Dec. 23 deadline for people to choose coverage that begins on Jan. 1, triggered an immediate backlash from the health insurance industry and raised new fairness questions about a law intended to promote affordable and comprehensive coverage.
Basically it sounds like the lie of the year has been revised to: “If you liked the plan you lost, you can keep that plan if you can still get it back.”
“This type of last-minute change will cause tremendous instability in the marketplace and lead to further confusion and disruption for consumers,” said Robert Zirkelbach, spokeman for American’s Health Insurance Plans, the industry’s main trade group.
It’s almost as if the Obama administration is unilaterally repealing the law without actually repealing the law. I must have missed the episode of Schoolhouse Rock where it said that’s constitutional.